Update 2 | Scicluna says Grexit is a 'realistic possibility'

Edward Scicluna puts the probability of a Greek exit from single currency at 50%, describing it as a “realistic possibility.”

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker

Maltese finance minister Edward Scicluna put the probability of a Grexit at 50%, describing it as a “realistic possibility.”

Speaking before entering to the extraordinary summit called after Sunday's resounding 'No' vote by the Greeks, Scicluna said that the Eurogroup must evaluate the possibility of a Greek exit and ensure that whatever happens “will be very well managed.”

On debt restructuring, Scicluna said “its hard to discuss,” since he said Greece was no longer trusted by its European partners.

He said the Eurogroup members were “a bit tired, exasperated and suspicious” of Greece, adding that “this is not the time to start discussing that (debt restructuring), first we need the good will to build it, but we have not reached that point yet.”

Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem expects Greece to “find a way out,” insisting that he had not yet seen the new proposals before this afternoon’s meeting of Eurozone finance ministers.

“We are still waiting for the Greek proposals and we will then see if they are credible,” the Dutch finance minister told reporters minutes before the meeting commenced.

He added that the Eurogroup will take things “step by step” and when asked if a new Greek finance minister would help talks, Dijsselbloem said it was not about personalities but “where we stand politically.”

“After the no vote we need to hear the Greek government, how they see a way out, how they think we can come to an agreement. So I’m going to listen to my new Greek colleague first, I’m going to meet him before the meeting and listen to their proposals, their thinking on the way and take it step by step,” he said.

Stressing that the Eurogroup will be doing whatever it takes to strengthen the single currency and keep it together, he said “we can’t have an outcome of this process which would damage our credibility.”

Underlining the importance of finding a credible solution for the future of Greece and the Eurozone,  Dijsselbloem added that “we will be working on that and hopefully get a solution.”

It is understood that Greece’s proposals to the Eurogroup will be broadly similar to the plan which was rejected by the creditors prior to Sunday’s referendum.

The plan would keep the VAT rebate for islands, leave VAT for restaurants at 13% and contain limited cuts in defence spending. VAT and pensions were of course the famous red lines, beyond which the Greek government would not go.

Meanwhile, Germany’s vice-chancellor Sigmar Gabriel – who earlier said that allowing Greece join the single currency was a mistake - hinted at the possibility of discussing debt relief but only if Greece agrees to reforms.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is set to present the new proposals for a bailout agreement during an extraordinary summit of the heads of government of the Eurozone countries.

Leaders are meeting in Brussels this evening, following a meeting of the euro area finance ministers which is taking place this afternoon.

According to reports, Tsipras’s plan is said to include a demand for Greece's debt to be cut by up to 30%, after voters rejected the terms of an international bailout on Sunday.

Athens has been urged to make "serious" proposals as Greece risks defaulting on its €323bn debt.

Simon Busuttil: Malta’s interests should be safeguarded

Opposition Leader Simon Busuttil called on Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to redouble his efforts to safeguard Malta’s national interests.

“We are in an unprecedented situation in which, for the first time, a country is on the brink of the eurozone exit. Such an exit will have significant repercussions, not just on Greece, but for the entire zone, including Malta,” Busuttil said.

 “I call on the Prime Minister to redouble his efforts to protect our national interest. There is a lot at stake for us, both in terms of our debt exposure with Greece, as well as our interest as a Eurozone country.”